Downtown OKC will honor three with the Dean A. McGee Awards

Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership is set to honor three business and community leaders for their outstanding contributions to the downtown community at the 35th Annual Dean A. McGee Awards on Wednesday, June 1, in the Grand Ballroom at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel.

Rand Elliott, FAIA, is the recipient of the Dean A. McGee Award for his lifetime contributions to downtown; the Stanley Draper Award will be given to Debi Martin for her community excellence efforts; and Marva Ellard is the winner of the Neal Horton Award for Downtown Revitalization.

The 2022 Dean A. McGee Awards are a black-tie event that begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner at 7 p.m. The co-chairs for the 2022 event are former Mayor Mick Cornett and SSM St. Anthony’s Hospital President Tammy Powell. . Jane Jenkins, President of the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership, will deliver the State of Downtown Address.

“This year’s recipients exemplify the same spirit as the three leaders for whom the awards are named,” said Cornett. “They helped design the downtown, transform downtown areas and exemplify public service in developing a downtown that will serve future generations well. They helped mold and shape today’s downtown.

Powell added, “For decades, Rand, Debi and Marva have been dedicated to creating a downtown for future generations. It’s wonderful that their passion for downtown is recognized at this ceremony. year.”

The Dean A. McGee Award recognizes individuals for a lifetime of contributions, ensuring Oklahoma City has a strong and energetic core. The award is named after Dean A. McGee, an Oklahoma City business leader who chaired the Kerr-McGee Corporation from 1963 to 1983 and led efforts to build Myriad Gardens. He was extremely passionate about developing downtown as a gathering place for future generations.

Rand Elliott, recipient of the 2022 Dean A. McGee Award, has transformed downtown above and below ground. As one of the first modern visionaries to reimagine historic downtown buildings and places, he reimagined the Downtown Subway Lobby with bright, contemporary lighting, design and functionality, restored the Vesper building in Automobile Alley, renovated a Bricktown warehouse into a cool art bar for four young doctors, created the Beacon of Hope in Stiles Park, transformed the Mid-Continent Life Insurance Building into the Gaylord Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, redesigned the Bicentennial Park in front of the Civic Center Music Hall and relaunched downtown’s most famous iron. stylish building, which won Interior Design magazine’s Best of Year award. Elliott’s most recent downtown accomplishments are the Oklahoma Center for Contemporary Arts at the north entrance to downtown and the Heartland Headquarters at 5th and Broadway. Approaching downtown from the south, Elliott’s world-class designs for the Boathouse District’s eight buildings and structures helped elevate the city’s status as a premier Olympic river sports venue. His firm, Rand Elliott Architects, has received 10 national architectural awards from the American Institute of Architects and 384 international, national, regional and local awards. In 2006, he was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame.

The Stanley Draper Award is given to an outstanding nonprofit staff member, volunteer, or unelected government employee who has had a lasting impact on the downtown core. The award is named after city visionary Stanley Draper, a longtime Greater Oklahoma City Chamber leader who inspired everyone to dream impossible dreams and was known as the nation’s greatest “city builder.”

Debi Martin, winner of the 2022 Stanley Draper Award, is an example of a relentless Model City employee with a can-do attitude. Martin has been City Hall’s steadfast educator and resource for new mayors, city council members and city executives since 1990, when he was appointed city council’s chief of staff. She served as a city liaison to help move the Oklahoma City Museum of the Arts downtown, which opened in 2002. In 1995, she met frequently with families who lost children in the tragedy. of the Alfred P. Murrah Building and was named Co-Chair of the First Anniversary Memorial Ceremony. Martin created the First Tee Youth Golf Program to help children build life skills, character, and health that empowers them throughout life. She managed the Reading Buddies program for public school children and recruited more than 100 city employees as mentors.

The Neal Horton Award is given to a visionary who sparks a renaissance in a downtown neighborhood. It’s named after Neal Horton, who dreamed of revitalizing the decaying red-brick warehouses east of downtown into an entertainment district featuring fine dining, trendy boutiques, luxury hotels and sights. sportsmen. Today, this area is known as Bricktown.

2021 Neal Horton Award winner Marva Ellard thought residential was a viable option for Midtown. As a curator at heart, she bought a decades-old vacant 1928 building and transformed it into the charming 38-unit urban apartment The Sieber, which kick-started Midtown’s economic resurgence with retail businesses and restaurants. Midtown’s revival has grown residential housing, and now Ellard has its sights set on the historic Villa Teresa, a former Catholic school and convent to be rehabilitated into owner-occupied homes and a boutique hotel. She sits on the Downtown OKC BID Advisory Board.

Presented by Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership, tickets for the Dean A. McGee Awards are available to the public. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling (405) 235-3500 or emailing [email protected] Individual tickets are $300 and seating is limited. Corporate tables and sponsorships are also available.
This event benefits the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership’s 501(c)(3) organization, Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives, which funds public art projects and other downtown improvement projects. For more information about Downtown Oklahoma City and the Dean A. McGee Awards, visit or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

David H. Henry